Chemotherapy uses anticancer, or cytotoxic, drugs to destroy cancer cells. It is sometimes used to treat stomach cancer. Your healthcare team will consider your personal needs to plan the drugs, doses and schedules of chemotherapy. You may also receive other treatments.
Chemotherapy is given for different reasons. You may have chemotherapy to:
Chemotherapy is usually a systemic therapy. This means that the drugs travel through the bloodstream to reach and destroy cancer cells all over the body, including those that may have broken away from the primary tumour in the stomach.
Chemotherapy for stomach cancer may be given as a single drug or as a combination of 2 or more drugs. The most common chemotherapy drugs used to treat stomach cancer are:
Some examples of chemotherapy regimens (a combination of 2 or more drugs) used for stomach cancer are:
Radiation therapy is sometimes given during the same time period as chemotherapy for stomach cancer. This is called chemoradiation. The type of radiation therapy usually given in combination with chemotherapy is external beam radiation therapy, and it’s most often given with 5-fluoruracil, cisplatin or both. Carboplatin and paclitaxel may also be given with radiation therapy. These chemotherapy drug combinations help make the cancer cells more sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy.
Details on specific drugs change quite regularly. Find out more about sources of drug information and where to get details on specific drugs.
I’m extremely grateful to the Canadian Cancer Society for funding my research with an Innovation Grant.
The Canadian Cancer Society is actively lobbying the federal government to establish a national caregivers strategy to ensure there is more financial support for this important group of people.